SMALL QUEEN PERFORATIONS


A table comparing the Kiusalas guage, the old(slightly yellow) Instanta gauge, and the new Instanta Gauge.

KIUSALAS
OLD
NEW
GAUGE
INSTANTA
INSTANTA
64
12.3
12.38
65
12.1
12.18
66
11.9
12.01
67
11.7
11.81
68
11.5
11.63



I will use 'old' Instanta measurements from here on when referring to any Small Queen Perforations.


The following comments are based on a careful examination of only the pieces in my collection. Since I have mostly strips and blocks it is possible to achieve a slightly more accurate measurement than one could get by looking at single stamps. When measuring the perforations on a block it is possible to use all 18 of the lines on the gauge instead of just the 12 lines that span a single stamp. However, the number of pieces that I have been able to examine is far less than the number available if one was using single stamps.


One interesting thing that becomes instantly apparent when examining a large block of 20 is that the perforations are not perfectly uniform. If the block is nominally perforated 12.0 then most of the rows will measure 12.0 or very close to it. But some spots on some rows will measure as low as 11.95 and some as high as 12.05. This is only reasonable when one considers that the perforating machines were not made to a standard of zero tolerance. In addition these machines were in regular use and it would only be reasonable to expect that some parts of the wheels would be slightly out of alignment. Thus, it is likely that one could find one or more single stamps on a pane of 100 that are perforated 11.95 or 12.05. This creates the potential for confusion if one is looking at single stamps.



The examination of my material yields 6 distinct perforations. Dates are approximate.

12.5 1870 very rare
11.9 1870-1879
11.6 1874-1879
12.0 1880-1897
12.1 1880-1897
12.2 1890-1897


If these are in fact distinct perforating machines it may well be that the 11.9 and 11.6 machines were only used for the early single pane plates of 100 subjects. Once the new 200 subject, double pane plates came into use at Montreal in the early 1880's it could be that new machines were needed and hence the 12.0 and 12.1 perforations. The addition of another machine with a gauge of 12.2 in about 1890 can easily be explained by increased volume of printing.